6 Best Screen Readers Online Reading, Browsing, Word Processing, and More

6 Best Screen Readers Online Reading, Browsing, Word Processing, and More

Many of us have switched to screens to read books because it’s easier and convenient. Plus, it’s a luxury having to see and read just about anything at your fingertips.



But having our eyes glued to the digital screen comes with some drawbacks such as bad posture, shoulder tension, and strain on the eyes. To put yourself to use, switch to a screen reader!

What Are Screen Readers?


Screen readers are specially designed for the visually impaired or those having a hard time reading. Enlarged text reduces the strain on the eyes. It’s perfect for those with blurred vision. Screen readers are for everyone - students, researchers, attorneys or anyone who wants to take information quickly.




The reader transmits the text displayed on the computer screen in audio. The synthetic voice reads the text out loud. You could be cooking dinner and listening to the reader at the same time. It’s like the soothing voice is talking to you.

How Do Screen Readers Benefit?


Screen readers have significantly helped children with a disability. A very inspirational story of an eighth-grade student with dyslexia was posted by edsource.org. He spent more than 7 years attending special education classes. These classes didn’t improve his condition. Then, he started using a screen reader to take advantage of his IQ

Although this technology is a breakthrough, companies have started to take notice and they are improving the accessibility of their sites to make them easy to browse and access.  
Just like screen recorders, there are plenty of screen readers out there. I have listed the finest ones for you:




1: JAWS

It’s the most popular screen reader on the market and for good reasons. JAWS is known for producing products for the disabled population such as large keyboards, magnifiers, etc. It helps you surf the internet, reads text out loud from the screen, reads articles and eBooks, and perform some word processing functions.

You will be able to write a document, create presentations and surf the web through the browsing keystrokes. JAWS is not free. To test it out, you may sign up for free trial.
I have personal experience with JAWS. My grandfather moved to Arkansas to live near us this year. My dad bought him the low-cost Optimum Internet packages and I installed JAWS on his computer to help him read and browse the web. He is currently reading the Harry Potter series and is highly pleased with the experience.

2: Google ChromeVox

Google takes pride in this screen reading solution for Chrome. It is a Chrome centered solution that makes chrome And Chrome OS usable for the visually impaired. Apart from helping you read the text, it also lets you perform different functions such as:

  1. Moving the cursor
  2. Switching tabs and windows
  3. Using keyboard shortcuts
  4. Moving through the page
  5. Selecting and clicking

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3: NVDA

NVDA is a free and open-source reading solution for Windows. It is a leading competitor of JAWS and it’s free. This reader comes with plenty of features such as braille display compatibility, run as a portable app, etc.

NVDA lets you browse social media, send messages, compose emails and use applications without any hassle. You can also use it for online shopping, using Excel, PowerPoint and Word processing tools.

4: Apple VoiceOver

It’s a free screen reading solution for Mac OS X also enables OS integration. It supports features such as braille support. If you are an iOS user, there is no reason why you should be using VoiceOver.
The user can also use zoom and magnifier to make the text on the screen easier to read. It also has LED flashes for notification allowing the user to see them if they can’t hear them. You can also enable closed captions, subtitles and audio descriptions.

5: COBRA

It’s also a paid screen reading tool that lets you do much more than reading. It helps you use your desktop and create a productive work environment. It has a simple and inbuilt user interface. The synthetic voice is clean and natural.

COBRA provides you with braille, speech, and magnified screen. The user can mix and match and choose a solution that works best for them.

6: ZoomText

It’s a paid screen reading software with three different versions. Its free trial is also available. Although it’s a great tool, it is quite expensive. It supports clear magnification, you can also change the color of the texts. You can zoom in as much as you want lacking losing the quality.

Final Words

Screen readers are for everyone, not just the visually impaired. If you feel like you are spending a lot of time on screen and your eyes need rest, these tools can offer your eyes the rest they deserve. Apart from reading, you can also use these tools to send messages on iMessage, browse Optimum plans on the web and create documents on Word.


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